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29.06.2022 Feature Article

Bad Decisions Have Consequences

Bad Decisions Have Consequences
29.06.2022 LISTEN

I perfectly appreciate why Congress, especially Congressional Republicans, would want to bolster security for and around our Supreme Court Justices in the wake of several threats and reported attempts by people displeased with the recently leaked draft opinion by an anonymous staffer or insider of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), presumably, in which it was made irreversibly clear that the Justice John Roberts-presided Apex Court intended to overturn Roe v Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide (See “House to Vote on Bill to Bolster Security for Supreme Court Justices” CBS News 6/16/22).

I perfectly appreciate this move, but I sincerely do not find it to be any more urgent than recent calls for the tightening of gun-control laws following the massacre of at least 19 schoolchildren at an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school and elsewhere around the country. I do not feel the urgency for significantly beefing up security around members of the United States’ Supreme Court and their family members because, increasingly, what we eerily see obscenely on display is the glaring politicization of the Court by the leaders of the country’s two major political parties, namely, the Grand Old Party, or the GOP, as the Republican Party is commonly and popularly known, hereabouts; and the Blue or Donkey Party, as the institutional establishment of the Democratic Party is also popularly and colloquially known.

Now, what we see regarding the political outlook on gun control and the near-certain decision by the Republican-dominated Supreme Court to reverse the temporal progression of Roe v Wade, is the fact that, by and large, Congressional Republicans do not seem to care very much about the urgent and, some would even say, the imperative need to tighten gun-control laws by, partly, raising the gun-purchasing age from the present 18 years old to 21 years old, as long as the majority of the people who are victims or are the brunt of gun-motivated violence are the urban and rural poor and predominantly ethnic and racial minorities. Which is why there is little significant movement among Congressional Republicans on the gun-control front. I have often wondered what the reaction in Congress would be, if the killers who routinely targeted ethnic and racial minorities decided to fully focus their apparent ire and venom on members of the country’s white-ethnic majority.

In all likelihood, these Second Amendment-obsessed Congressional Republicans would be forced to seriously consider tightening the gun-control laws by including what these politicians call the Red-Flags Signals, whereby thorough psychological background checks are conducted on prospective gun buyers, especially first-time and very young gun buyers. The argument in some quarters has been that raising the gun-purchasing age from 18 to 21 years old unduly punishes the right of 19- and 20-year-olds to legally purchase and responsibly use their guns, something they would readily be able to do, if they were members of the United States Military (USM) or members of the local police force. As of this writing, some semblance of sanity and common sense was beginning to surface on the Republican side of the political horizon.

Now, regarding the immediate and imperative need to boost up security for members of the United States’ Supreme Court or SCOTUS – that is, the Supreme Court of the United States – it is the Congressional Democrats who seem to have become “cold-footed,” if there were, indeed, any such standard idiomatic expression. And it is primarily because, by and large, it is the horses of these Congressional Democrats that are literally being savagely and relentlessly gored by the Republican-dominated 9-member Apex Court, such as the clearly undemocratic, some have called it downright Fascist, decision to scrap Roe v Wade. But the attitude and the ideological mindset of the Congressional Democrats are far more philosophically nuanced and socially responsible than those of their Congressional Republican counterparts. For example, regarding the prompt and the imperative need to boost up security protection for the members of the Roberts Supreme Court and their families and relatives, Congressional Democrats would have clerks and other staff members and appointees of the SCOTUS included in the package, since in the wake of the leaking of the anti-Roe v Wade draft decision, it was Apex Court Clerks and Staffers that were being first and primarily fingered.

Predictably, the purse- or budget-conscious Republicans are having none of this. Well, we shall all shortly see where this goes. Increasingly, and it must be quickly pointed out that this has been going on for quite a considerable while now, that is, the fact that ideology seems to have taken center stage at the expense of genuine moral convictions and common sense, where the concept of what constitutes the greater communal and/or social good is concerned. And this may very well come to eventually determine whether the United States of America, as we have presently come to know it, will be able to survive and healthily grow over at least a half-century from now. Our hope, of course, is that America should be able to healthily and smoothly survive for many more decades, if not centuries, to come. The reality on the ground, however, may be telling us a totally different story altogether. We hope we are wrong in our pessimism. Only time will tell.

*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York

June 16, 2022

E-mail: [email protected]

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